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MonkeyInSpace

How many classes don't you use?

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hey all,

was talking last night with our group and GM about new chars/professions and it really became apparent that unless you are running a very specific and targeted campaign/mission/adventure, there are just some classes that will never shine and I'm curious how some of you HAVE played these to success? 

Examples of what I'm thinking of are Ace (driver & gunner) and Diplomat (agitator) - so, unless your GM says "we are playing a campaign where you are a delivery guy or are onboard a large ship and need more people in turrets", why would you ever pick driver or gunner that would somewhat pigeonhole you, over something else that would have arguably more continually useful skills (say, mechanic or sharpshooter or infiltrator)?

[Seeking to understand, not criticize]

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You're right that it does depend on the theme of the campaign. That said, an Agitator makes a great face, and Scathing Tirade makes them useful in combat, too. The Gunner spec is useful outside of ships, since they can also pick up Ranged (Heavy) and use a lot of their talents with that. They're somewhat outshined by the Heavy for on-the-ground stuff, but they're no slouch, even if vehicle combat isn't the focus of the campaign. Finally, the Driver makes a good all-around pilot, since most of their talents are useful both in space and on the ground. In short, I think you and your group may be getting hung up on the names of the specializations and overlooking the utility of the skills and talents they offer. :)

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The roleplaying game is a shared experience. The way it should work is that.

  1. The players and GM agree on a tone for the campaign (e.g. the GM says, "this is going to be a very intrigue heavy game with lots of politics," or the GM puts it to the players and says "I've got these ideas, what do you think would be the most fun to play?"). 
  2. The players make their characters with the knowledge of the tone of the campaign. 
  3. The GM does his best to challenge those characters and give the players a fun game. 

So if you've got a politics-heavy game and someone makes an Ace: Gunner, or if you're going with a war-themed game with heavy combat and someone rolls up a Force-Sensitive Mystic: Advisor with a side of Politico, you'll know two things: 1) the player wants to feel like a fish out of water, and 2) the GM should be doing his best to introduce challenges that this character can shine in. These challenges are often going to be plot-tangential, but that's like 90% of Star Wars anyway :P 

Is such a character going to dominate the game and be the MVP all the time? No. A big, hulking brute with a 1 in Presence and zero ranks in social skills is going to be a liability in a diplomatic meeting, but can also provide for some very funny and memorable Star Wars-y "oops" moments. And he can be there for that one time when the Empire crashes the party and he saves everyone's bacon by covering their retreat, or that time when he blasts 4 TIE fighters out of the sky single-handedly and allows the ship to escape to hyperspace. 

Likewise, the Diplomat: Quartermaster who only has a single rank each in Ranged: Light and Brawl (free Human skill ranks!) isn't going to be the galaxy's most effective combatant, but without her investments, her silver tongue, and her knowledge of arms dealers, her group of throttle-jockey friends might be in dire straits. Like that one time that the fighter pilots were all arrested for fighting in the streets, and she came and talked them out of it. Or when they got framed for treason against the Empire and narrowly escape execution, and she was the one who knew all the backchannel contacts in the Outer Rim for them to get re-outfitted and start figuring out who framed them.

--

TL;DR: Some people really just want to play a character that doesn't quite fit. And as long as both player and GM are committed to figuring out how such a character can fit in the overarching campaign, that can be a really fun character to play. As always, over-communication between player & GM, both before and during the campaign, is going to be the key to success here.

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2 hours ago, awayputurwpn said:

The roleplaying game is a shared experience. The way it should work is that.

  1. The players and GM agree on a tone for the campaign (e.g. the GM says, "this is going to be a very intrigue heavy game with lots of politics," or the GM puts it to the players and says "I've got these ideas, what do you think would be the most fun to play?"). 
  2. The players make their characters with the knowledge of the tone of the campaign. 
  3. The GM does his best to challenge those characters and give the players a fun game. 

So if you've got a politics-heavy game and someone makes an Ace: Gunner, or if you're going with a war-themed game with heavy combat and someone rolls up a Force-Sensitive Mystic: Advisor with a side of Politico, you'll know two things: 1) the player wants to feel like a fish out of water, and 2) the GM should be doing his best to introduce challenges that this character can shine in. These challenges are often going to be plot-tangential, but that's like 90% of Star Wars anyway :P 

Is such a character going to dominate the game and be the MVP all the time? No. A big, hulking brute with a 1 in Presence and zero ranks in social skills is going to be a liability in a diplomatic meeting, but can also provide for some very funny and memorable Star Wars-y "oops" moments. And he can be there for that one time when the Empire crashes the party and he saves everyone's bacon by covering their retreat, or that time when he blasts 4 TIE fighters out of the sky single-handedly and allows the ship to escape to hyperspace. 

Likewise, the Diplomat: Quartermaster who only has a single rank each in Ranged: Light and Brawl (free Human skill ranks!) isn't going to be the galaxy's most effective combatant, but without her investments, her silver tongue, and her knowledge of arms dealers, her group of throttle-jockey friends might be in dire straits. Like that one time that the fighter pilots were all arrested for fighting in the streets, and she came and talked them out of it. Or when they got framed for treason against the Empire and narrowly escape execution, and she was the one who knew all the backchannel contacts in the Outer Rim for them to get re-outfitted and start figuring out who framed them.

--

TL;DR: Some people really just want to play a character that doesn't quite fit. And as long as both player and GM are committed to figuring out how such a character can fit in the overarching campaign, that can be a really fun character to play. As always, over-communication between player & GM, both before and during the campaign, is going to be the key to success here.

My job has been done here already.

Besides our adviser is a heavy, our ace is one of the best mechanics in the galaxy and my hotshot is literally bringing turbolasers to a lightsaber duell. Being a fish out of his water can be awesome, especially when the GM allows you to throw people into your fish tank sometimes  ...

Edited by SEApocalypse

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6 hours ago, MonkeyInSpace said:

hey all,

was talking last night with our group and GM about new chars/professions and it really became apparent that unless you are running a very specific and targeted campaign/mission/adventure, there are just some classes that will never shine and I'm curious how some of you HAVE played these to success? 

Examples of what I'm thinking of are Ace (driver & gunner) and Diplomat (agitator) - so, unless your GM says "we are playing a campaign where you are a delivery guy or are onboard a large ship and need more people in turrets", why would you ever pick driver or gunner that would somewhat pigeonhole you, over something else that would have arguably more continually useful skills (say, mechanic or sharpshooter or infiltrator)?

[Seeking to understand, not criticize]

The gunner is a lot more powerful than you realize.  It has 2 ranks of True Aim, 2 ranks of Jury Rigged and 2 ranks of Enduring.  It makes for a beastly soak, with the ability to hit like crazy.  Most of driver applies to piloting(space) as well, making a good pilot, and good with planetary too.  Agitator is pretty specialized, and more likely to be a second spec, making a coercion based monster.  

What makes for a good class will depend a lot on the campaign, and to some extent the GM.  My last campaign was intended to be a ground based rebellion game.  Pilot specs were completely absent, although they did wish they had one on one or two encounters.  They didn't intend to use vehicles for anything but potentially disposable transport.  Only one character bought ranks in pilot (planetary), and none in pilot (space).

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I have a PC in my game playing an Explorer: Driver right now, and he is obsessed with racing any and everything he can find. It's very fun to have this as a sideline, and as he also has Mechanics he's very helpful to the group in other ways.

I would personally play an Ace: Gunner for all the reasons mentioned.

My NPCs who are on the Imperial side are often modeled off the Agitator. If you wanted to play the party's go-to social fixer, playing an Agitator/Quartermaster would be a very interesting and fun way to accomplish that.

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Gunner is awesome, it's kind of like a cross between a gadgeteer and a heavy with a hint of vehicle gunner.  Think of the ww2 movie stereotype of a tank gunner who is a big hulking brute and carries a big rifle when not inthe tank and doubles aso the tank's mechanic when inot the field.  That's the ace gunner.

Edited by EliasWindrider
Fixing typos/auto mis-correct

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Gunner really is one of my favorite specs.  Gadgeteer has to be one of the best, though.  Very well rounded, lots of useful talents.  

 

Ambassador is another favorite of mine; a better spy spec than Spy specs.  Indistinguishable, Nobody’s Fool, Kill with Kindness, Confidence.  Plus Dodge!

 

Best class for me is Commander, though.  Great selection of class skills.  Best in the game, really.  Wish Figurehead was actually Ambassador.  Commander Ambassador would be the perfect Intelligence Officer.  Better for my tastes than Stategist.

Edited by Atticus Havelock

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"Usefulness" shouldn't be a consideration. GMs should be designing scenarios around the classes that players want to play, not shoehorning players into pre-planned scenarios. If a player character has talents and skills that make him particularly good at certain actions, it's up to the GM to make sure those actions are presented during a story arc.

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OP there are no Universal Rules to this stuff, only personal preferences, so if you feel that something isn't going to work, you can pursue various levels of communication to that effect with the player. I think the people saying that you should allow the players to shape the game are giving great advice, and I think that most of the time it works very well, but there are always exceptions. I would hope that any rejection of a concept would be after you had decided that there was just no way it was going to work (and having given it the benefit of the doubt at first glance to see if it was more than it seemed), but there are certainly some situations that can happen where you or other players may be bummed if a grossly mismatched choice is made, and allowed, just for the sake of being permissive.

Also, if you choose to do any kind of shaping of the group then you should be accepting and fully understanding if anyone wants to vote with their feet. Some people can't handle No, and the bulk of written wisdom on the subject of these games has implied that Yes is the only acceptable thing to say. If someone wants to make something that you feel just isn't going to work (A openly Sith Pirate with A Droid head and a Kowakian Monkey Lizard Body in your AoR game) but you feel it won't work, then my advice is: don't doom the game by allowing something that later on will make you want to either kill the character to be rid of them, or to end the game because you dread running it. 

That having been said, if someone wants to make something that is ineffective but the character isn't offensive to the game, then this game will allow them to make the character into something that works for them, or not, through the way the game is built. I love the flexibility of the system in the characters that can be made, and your player could always just change their focus later in play to match what the character becomes through play. 

 

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The other thing to keep in mind as well is that as the game progresses, it's likely characters will branch into other specializations. In the campaign I'm currently GMing, characters are around 550 XP and have between 2 and 3 specializations each. Some players maxed out one specialization before moving onto the next, others took what they liked from one tree, bought and took some stuff from another, bought and took some stuff from a third, in order to play the character they wanted as the character, game, and story evolved.

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I've run two full Edge games, an Age game, played in a full Age and F&D game each, and have seen every career . . . aside from the poor Explorer. 

It just never quite grabbed any of my players, but I've got the idea for an Explorer/Colonist game taking place in Wild Space/Unknown Regions in the back pocket. Maybe I'll get the chance to use it one day.

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One of my players has an Ace, it's a great spec.  Gearhead is underrated...  He gets to be a good Pilot and a good Mechanic, and since Agility is his top characteristic, the synergy with Gunnery is excellent.  He then branched into Gunslinger, so his initial character concept trifecta (pilot, mechanic, pistolero) has been realized.

There are some specs I consider pretty useless (eg Thief), but as is always the case, YMMV.  Depends what your game is about.

 

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On 2018-01-24 at 7:44 AM, EliasWindrider said:

Gunner is awesome, it's kind of like a cross between a gadgeteer and a heavy with a hint of vehicle gunner.  Think of the ww2 movie stereotype of a tank gunner who is a big hulking brute and carries a big rifle when not inthe tank and doubles aso the tank's mechanic when inot the field.  That's the ace gunner.

This. The sidewinder-wielding Nautolan in our rebel cell makes very good use of Ace: Gunner. Fantastic character.

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2 hours ago, Split Light said:

Don't get to hung up on the name of the talent tree.  A lot of them are far more versatile then the name implies.  The name is really just a suggestion.  Look at the actual talents, find one that has stuff you like, and then decide what you want it to be.

Quoting for emphasis.

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There are none that I would say are useless, I used to think that the Beast Rider wasnt much to look at, then Order66 looked at it and they did a build off and it opened my eyes to the spec a lot more, that being said I fell there are some that are hyper specialists, for example the Slicer is perhaps the worst, followed by the Thief. 

There are also a number of specs that lack any standout signature talents, but who are absolutely rock solid example Explorer - Fringer, isnt the most attractive of specs, but if your GM makes a deal out of astrogation it would be hard to beat, but even without that it has a solid suite of talents, just no "signature" talents like the Enforcers " talk the talk" "Loom" or "Walk the Walk"

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On 1/23/2018 at 7:10 AM, MonkeyInSpace said:

hey all,

was talking last night with our group and GM about new chars/professions and it really became apparent that unless you are running a very specific and targeted campaign/mission/adventure, there are just some classes that will never shine and I'm curious how some of you HAVE played these to success? 

Examples of what I'm thinking of are Ace (driver & gunner) and Diplomat (agitator) - so, unless your GM says "we are playing a campaign where you are a delivery guy or are onboard a large ship and need more people in turrets", why would you ever pick driver or gunner that would somewhat pigeonhole you, over something else that would have arguably more continually useful skills (say, mechanic or sharpshooter or infiltrator)?

[Seeking to understand, not criticize]

I've had every non-jedi class used, and only one Jedi class not used, over the years. Most campaigns tend to have, across 4-7 players, 3-7 classes in play, assuming "all books allowed" games. Since I've only had 5 jedi PC's... and two were guardians...

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Specs that have never been touched between 6 groups and over 30 players. Some will be used soon, such as Ascetic, Armorer, Gambler but the rest have never been touched:

Bounty Hunter: Operator 

Colonist: Scholar 

Commander: Commodore, Figurehead, Instructor, Squadron leader

Consular: Arbiter, Ascetic, Teacher

The entire Diplomat Career

The entire Engineer Career

Explorer: Archaeologist

Guardian: Armorer, Peacekeeper, Protector, Warden, Warleader

Hired Gun: Marauder

Mystic: Advisor, Seer

Seeker: Executioner, Hermit, Hunter, Navigator

Sentinel: Investigator, Racer, Sentry, Shadow, Shien Expert

Smuggler: Gambler, Scoundrel

Soldier: Medic, Sharpshooter, Trailblazer

The entire Spy Career

Technician: Droid Tech, Mechanic, Modder

The entire Warrior Career

 

Okay so there's 3 book lines each with 6 careers. within each career is 6 specs once their sourcebooks are released. in total there would be 108 not including universal specs but there's currently 12 unreleased putting it at 96 total non-universal specs. Out of that, the ones that haven't been used total 50, so that puts me at 46 specs used. Regarding the careers that have a duplicate spec, such as Pilot showing up in both the Smuggler and Ace careers, if one was used I am counting both as used.

Edited by GroggyGolem

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What I have never done between all of my groups: (note that I have used some for only a session or two)

Bounty Hunter: Operator, Skip Tracer, Martial Artist

Colonist: None

Explorer: Trader, Big Game Hunter

Hired Gun: None

Smuggler: Charmer

Technician: Droid Tech

 

Ace: Hotshot, Beast Rider, Gunner Rigger

Commander: All

Diplomat: All

Engineer: Sabotuer, Scientist

Soldier: Sharpshooter, Commando, Medic, Vanguard, Trailblazer

Spy: None

 

Force and Destiny:

All except Investigator

Edited by Yaccarus

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